Friday is always the designated “take out the trash” day in Washington and this week was no exception. After receiving increasingly heated demands from the Energy and Commerce Committee – not to mention a subpoena – for all documents related to the failed solar panel manufacturer, the White House responded. Of course, “responded” can mean different things to different people.
The White House on Friday rejected House Republicans’ subpoena for all internal communications related to the $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee, instead providing 135 pages of documents that administration officials say meet the “legitimate oversight interests” of congressional investigators.
In a letter to top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Friday, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said the documents “do not contain evidence of favoritism to political supporters or any wrongdoing by the White House in connection with the Solyndra loan guarantee.”
So apparently the people being served with subpoenas are now in the best position to be the judge of what meets the “legitimate oversight interests” of those doing the overseeing. It’s comforting to know that when they were deciding which documents to deliver and which to sit on, none of the ones they turned over showed “evidence of favoritism to political supporters or any wrongdoing.”
Well, I’m glad that’s settled and we can all get on with our lives.
Now that I think about it, this is a brilliant model. If the authorities show up trying to find out if you’ve been cheating on your taxes, simply ask them to come back in a few months. Then, when they do, hand them a bunch of partial returns and bags of receipts for donuts and tell them that there’s clearly nothing there which proves any incidents of wrongdoing. If your political campaign receives a subpoena for taking illegal campaign contributions, just show them all of the ones you received that were legal!
Stunning in its brilliance and perfect in its simplicity. My hat is off to the administration. How did I never think of this?